Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association
Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Volume 26 Number 2 2015

HE14061How big is a food portion? A pilot study in Australian families

Clare E Collins, Tamara Bucher, Aimee Taylor, Kristine Pezdirc, Hannah Lucas, Jane Watson, Megan Rollo, Kerith Duncanson, Melinda J Hutchesson and Tracy Burrows
pp. 83-88

To date, it is unclear what parents and children deem a typical portion size. The present pilot study compared typically served portions of various foods with recommended portion sizes. It was found that served portion sizes for most foods, but not beverages, exceeded the recommendations. Interventions to improve dietary patterns should therefore target education regarding portion size.

HE14098Improvement in primary school adherence to the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy in 2007 and 2010

Anne Hills, Nicole Nathan, Keira Robinson, Danushka Fox and Luke Wolfenden
pp. 89-92

Creating a healthy food environment in schools is a strategy employed by the NSW government since 2005.This study looked at changes in food sold in primary schools over 3 years and found modest improvements; however, overall compliance was low. This raises concern and indicates that schools require more support to stem the tide of childhood obesity, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas.]

HE14031Assessing the real world effectiveness of the Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL™) program

Sharon A. Hetherington, Jerrad A. Borodzicz and Cecilia M. Shing
pp. 93-98

Lifestyle modification programs can be an effective strategy to reduce chronic disease risk factors; however, few government-funded, community-based programs report their findings in the peer-reviewed literature. In this article we report the outcomes of participation in the Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL™) program, which received funding under the Australian government’s Healthy Communities Initiative between 2010 and 2013. Participation in the 8-week program resulted in significant improvements in healthy behaviours and health markers. The findings strengthen the case for support of lifestyle modification programs to improve public health and lessen the personal cost of chronic conditions.

HE14115Environmental barriers and enablers to physical activity participation among rural adults: a qualitative study

Verity Cleland, Clarissa Hughes, Lukar Thornton, Kathryn Squibb, Alison Venn and Kylie Ball
pp. 99-104

How the environment impacts on physical activity in rural adults is not well understood. This qualitative study explored environmental barriers and facilitators to physical activity participation among rural adults, and discovered that functionality, diversity of opportunities, spaces and places for all, and realistic expectations were important considerations for rural-dwellers. These factors should be considered when modifying rural environments to support physical activity.

HE14092Physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Asian and Anglo-Australian adolescents

Claudia Strugnell, Andre M. N. Renzaho, Kate Ridley and Cate Burns
pp. 105-114

This article reports on the differences in objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour among a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) sample of adolescents. The results demonstrate lower engagement in physical activity and greater sedentary behaviour participation among Chinese-Australian and South-East Asian adolescents compared to Anglo-Australian adolescents. These findings are important for intervention planning and delivery and population health.


Australia is facing a dramatic rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This national survey found that about half of Australians intended to improve their brain health and 38% reported taking action (usually in the form of mental exercise) for this purpose. Knowledge, understanding and confidence concerning dementia risk reduction were related to levels of motivation and action.


Both family health history (FHH) and lifestyle behaviours such as physical activity, dietary intake and alcohol consumption are risk factors for chronic disease. This paper examines whether FHH information could be used to motivate young people to intend to modify these lifestyle behaviours. The provision of a FHH assessment increased perceived vulnerability among young adults and intentions to communicate with family members about disease risk, but did not change dietary or physical activity intentions.


Eighty parents were randomly allocated to an experimental group given an obesity pamphlet or to a control group. The study found that the pamphlet increased understanding of childhood obesity immediately after the intervention in parents of overweight or obese children.

HE14052Men’s Sheds function and philosophy: towards a framework for future research and men’s health promotion

Nathan J. Wilson, Reinie Cordier, Kenji Doma, Gary Misan and Sharmila Vaz
pp. 133-141

Men’s Sheds offer a male space for socialising, activities and also support the promotion of men’s health and wellbeing. Better understanding different sheds’ function and philosophy enabled us to create a framework that will assist future men’s health promotion activities. Efficient and targeted health promotion activities at Men’s Sheds will lead to better health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian men.


The workplace is an important setting for health promotion. This evaluation of a four-month workplace physical activity program found increases in daily steps and reductions in sitting time but limited overall increases in physical activity, given high levels of participants at baseline. To have the greatest population health impact, future workplace physical activity programs should target inactive employees.


Children’s fruit and vegetable consumption is below levels recommended for optimal growth, development and health. ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ – a hands-on classroom-based food preparation program for primary school students – resulted in increased numbers of fruits and vegetables tried, liked and consumed by students. Primary schools that provide opportunities for active involvement in food preparation can contribute positively to children’s nutrition.


Flipcharts are widely used as education tools in Indigenous health. In the first paediatric quantitative study on the use of flipcharts as a means of providing health education to Indigenous Australians, we have shown that culturally appropriate flipcharts are an effective method of providing health education.

HE15002Perceptions of the solarium ban in Australia: ‘Fake it, don’t bake it’

Ivanka Prichard, Suzanne Dobbinson, Carlene Wilson, Amanda D. Hutchinson, Joanne Rayner and Jen Makin
pp. 154-158

With the use of sun-protective behaviours and the avoidance of deliberate UV exposure, skin cancer should be largely preventable. This study aimed to examine responses to the ban on commercial solariums in Australia. There were high levels of public support for the ban; however, it will take time to modify the tanning behaviours of prior solarium users.

Health Promotion Workforce

Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton discusses the importance of the virtual issue on the Health Promotion Workforce.

Award Winners

Congratulations to Kristiann C. Heesch and Michael Langdon, winners of the Ray James Award for 2017. And congratulations also to L. Wolfenden, M. Kingsland, B. Rowland, P. Dodds, M. Sidey, S. Sherker and J. Wiggers for their highly-commended paper.

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